Device(s): Nexus 4, Galaxy S II,
Nexus 1 (retired),
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Hello and welcome to Android forums.
I moved your post here, to the ZTE AT&T Avail (ZTE Merit) forum.
Now, to your question ... if you wish to remove the apps that came with the phone, you must first root it (gain administrative access to the file system) and then you will be able to delete them. Let me offer a word of caution. Many apps provide services for other parts of the OS and if you remove them, you can disable certain features or make your phone unusable. More importantly, system apps are not easily restorable like simply installing an .apk file. And once deleted, even a factory reset will not recover them. You will have to locate and flash a stock rom image to get them back. If you plan on rooting and deleting those apps, please check back here first before you do anything so we can make sure it's safe for you to delete those without any negative impact to your phone.
some apps you can un install off the bat though there are several in every phone that can't be un-installed unless your phone is rooted so specialized tools can remove them.
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there are some pre-rooted stock backup forms of the system software if you want to try. you merely download them, transfer them to your phone via USB, boot in recovery mode, back up the system FIRST, and restore the new rooted version by browsing to where you saved the 'nandroid' (the name for a backup) on your storage, select it, and away you go! this can be done with or without clockworkmod recovery (which requires root) because some of these images are saved as a backup file that is restorable on any device.
these custom softwares are in the ZTE Merit---all things root subforum
for example, there is a good one known as speed-freak. here are some steps to install this one, based on restoring the image as a backup file:
1. hook the phone to your computer's USB port using the cord that came with the charger (it unplugs from the brick that plugs into the wall)
2. the computer will recognize and install some drivers, then your phone should show a 'USB storage is connected' with the android robot and a 'turn on USB storage' button. click this button, and Windows on your computer should show an autoplay prompt. click 'view files/folders on the device' option and an explorer window showing the phone's SD card contents will show (may be files and/or folders--one should be called 'downloads')
3. download the speed-freak file onto your computer and open it in WinRAR (this program is available online and is free) and extract the folder to your C: drive. accept any User account control prompts if running Vista/7 (this program requires your permission to continue)
4. browse your C: drive, should be a folder titled 'speedfreak 1.1' in there. copy this entire folder to your SD card's root directory (don't save it in another folder.)
5. click 'turn off USB storage' on the phone. you should see the normal home menu showing again. disconnect the phone from the computer. make sure the phone's battery is 100%.
6. boot the phone in recovery mode. first, hold the power button until you see three options in a pop-up. click 'power off'. the phone will shut off. now, and this is important, at the same time, hold down the menu (bottom left button), volume up key, and power button at the SAME time. you will see the ZTE logo followed by a recovery menu (hold down these three buttons until it displays). in there should be some options such as backup and restore. click backup first, and wait for that to be done. next, click the restore option (keep in mind, the touchscreen won't work in this menu, it is controlled by volume keys (scrolling up/down), and the home key selects. the image may be upside down. back key goes back a menu. when you click restore, you should either get a list of options to select a file (it depends on the recovery) or it may automatically go ahead. if you get the option to select a file, browse to the location or name 'speedfreak 1.1' and accept. the phone will show verbose gibberish and eventually say 'restore complete'. if given the option to reboot, do so. the phone will take some time to reboot, but you will see the ZTE logo, followed by a plain 'Android' logo and the main screen. it will look a bit different and you will have to re-link your Google account and reinstall your apps, but it's worth it!
FATAL system error #nnnn
CAUSE: We should never get here!
Last edited by nickdalzell; October 17th, 2012 at 04:38 PM.
Like others have said Root is required A good rule of thumb is if you can re download any app you remove from the market it will be ok to delete. 90% chance you will need to add link2sd to give you the extra space needed for long term use of the phone.
Last edited by hi5five; October 19th, 2012 at 01:16 PM.
there is a part of ROM Toolbox for rooted devices that is great at uninstalling bloatware, but be careful--there are a lot of options that would mess up your camera or prevent the phone itself from working (such as--do NOT delete Dialer.apk, or Email.apk, or FCC-ID.apk)
however the disadvantage is, even without bloatware installed, you only get ~30MB of space after installing 5 or 6 apps, no room for a game like Angry Birds (and that nagging 'low disk space' notification which kills texting, email sync, and other features). however Speed-Freak is the slimmest even with Go Launcher installed, i still have 20MB remaining after a boatload of apps, and the low space notification appears to be hacked out in the kernel. so sync remains enabled even if you got ~5MB remaining.
i am not sure what it is with the Merit that has such a tiny data partition, but i think it's just a stock ROM issue--they all only give 128 of the 512MB to you to use
EDIT: Word of advice. even if you never use it and plan on side-loading apps, NEVER delete the Google Play Store. it will not add back and work without a factory reset or flashing the gapps.apk for your device. it's not worth the 10MB it gives you
Last edited by nickdalzell; October 20th, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
i would worry it may disable the connection/registration to the cellular carrier--aka--you won't be able to make/receive calls. i am not sure, but if i think it may kill the phone's ability to dial out or receive a call or text, i tend to avoid it or do my homework prior. FCC-ID seems to be something that may have to do with the phone's IMEI #. but since i do not know i leave it alone. uninstalling email.apk will kill the camera (don't ask why) and other apps may cause problems. a list of apps i know can be uninstalled without effects are:
Gmail.apk (NOT email.apk)
Browser (you can download a better one from the Play Store, like Dolphin or Firefox)
Google Voice Search
FOTA Kill (it's an over-the-air update tool, may cause an unroot)
I haven't seen FOTA on my phone but I've deleted most of the one's you have mentioned. Don't delete the music app that looks like the record player if you plan to use bluetooth. That is the main reason I quit using the one.three ROM. I couldn't figure out how to get this app to install on it & it is not in the market.
The FCC app is to report to the FCC if the coverage that the carriers advertise is correct. I didn't find it in the market but it can be downloaded from the FCC site.
I have also deleted the SIM tool app because I thought that is how a APN setting keep getting made & changed to on my phone but it is still happening. I change it back & delete there's but in a few days it is there again & changed back to run off from their setting. My setting works better. I wish someone could tell me how to stop it. I didn't delete it yesterday when I seen it was back, I only selected my setting so I'll see if that makes a difference.